Spanning across the northern tier of the Endless Mountains and in one of Pennsylvania’s few remaining pristine wilderness areas, we will backpack the Old Logger’s Path (the “OLP”), a 27 mile circuit hike in the Loyalsock State Forest. We begin in the town of Masten, a now current ghost town that was once a lumber mill company town with over one thousand residents.
The 27 mile hiking trail continues to traverse the valleys of Rock Run and Pleasant Stream—clear, cold, cascading streams filled with swimming holes, cascading falls, narrow chasms, and side hollows. The rugged trail utilizes old logging trails and the grades of logging railroads. The OLP offers stunning vistas, especially of the designated McIntyre Wild Area.
The terrain varies and we will encounter a couple challenging hills each day that will get your blood flowing. The climbs are not for naught; you will catch your breath with grand views of the surrounding valleys, mountains and diverse forests. If you are a beginner backpacker, determined and in good shape to hike approximately 10 miles a day with heavy packs, then join this awesome rugged backcountry trip and learn from other experienced backpackers.
Day 1 begins with a fair gradual ascent to the top of a plateau. Enjoy a soothing section of the trail as you traverse the plateau through a forested evergreen tunnel trail that descends and hugs the bank of the famed Rock Run. Rock Run is absolutely exquisite as you hike parallel next to it with waterfalls and awesome crystal clear swimming holes within reach. The banks are chiseled rock cliffs creating cascading water flows. Time permitting, we will explore the more remote gems of this region at the confluence of Rock Run and Yellow Dog Run. The OLP continues for a gradual climb up Yellow Dog Run and eventually leading to one of the best outlook points of the entire trail—expansive stunning views of the designated McIntyre Wild Area.
Day 2 on the OLP starts with a great traverse around, up and over the saddle of Sullivan Mountain where you will enjoy more vistas. A leisurely plateau hike ensues, eventually intersecting and following Long Run stream down a beautiful forested valley below Burnetts Ridge into the beloved Pleasant Stream. A fun and at times challenging river crossing awaits us at Pleasant Stream and adds a dynamic element to the day. Another gradual ascent, a well-deserved lookout at Sharp Top Vista and then finish off the day with a descent into a valley to setup camp.
The relatively easy 7 mile hike out on day 3 provides a good time to reflect on the backpacking trip. The day begins with a level grad that turns into a short steep ascent leading to a saddle. A spur trail takes you to Sprout Point Vista. The OLP continues through the pass, skims the boundary of a bog, passes a really unique tree formation and begins a long switchback descent through a thick mature forest ultimately leading back to Masten to complete the full 27 mile circuit.
NEED TO KNOW:
Although a 3 day and 2 night backpacking trip, Saturday-Monday, we recommend that you arrive at the trailhead the evening (Friday) before the hike begins. There is a great car-camping area near the trailhead in Masten.
Please give yourself 4 hours of travel time to arrive in the town of Masten. Please be there by 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning. If you are driving during night time, please be cautious, especially during the last 45 minutes of the drive as the final approach requires traveling on very dark backcountry dirt and gravel roads with steep drop-offs.